Reading is one of the best mental exercises for youngsters and adults. But when is the best time to introduce our kids to the idea of reading? Is reading to newborns considered a bit premature? We don’t think so. Because even if newborn babies don’t totally understand what we are reading. We are helping them develop their milestones from this early age. Read more on how reading to newborns benefits them.
How does reading to newborns affect them?
1| It is a great bonding activity
When you are reading to your newborn baby, you are strengthening the bond between the both of you. It is a great quality time to communicate with your little angel. When you are reading out loud to your baby, making different sounds and movements. Your baby is absorbing every sound and move, thus feeling safer and closer to you. Reading to newborns helps them get the love, care, and attention they need from their parents. It is the foundation of a healthy and happy relationship within your family.
2| The first big step into acquiring this skill
Some mums think that their newborns won’t get what they are reading. But on the contrary, your child is taking in every word, sound, move, and intonation. Reading to newborn babies helps them develop their milestones as their brains are taking in all the information. The same information that our brains understand with zero effort.
Many studies and research show that reading to newborns actually helps them acquire lingual skills. It prepares them to collect vocabulary and make sentences as they grow up. In addition, it will help them read more easily as they grow. Thus expanding and strengthening their comprehension skills and vocabs.
3| Develops many life skills
Furthermore, those studies and research prove that early reading helps children excel academically. This applies to all school subjects like math, science and literature. Also, they found that a 3 year old can score higher than kids on IQ tests. And the reason behind that is that his parents read to him since birth. This also applies to several essential life skills such as logical thinking and problem solving.
The more you read to your child, and the more you encourage them to read. The more words and phrases they learn. And that builds up their lingual skills greatly. It is the first step into raising intellectual, sensible, and smart people.
4| Better sensibility and comprehension
We rarely reread books as adults. But it is quite the opposite with babies. The more you read a certain story book, the more your baby will engage with you. You will start noticing they are expressing their excitement with their hands, legs, eyes and smiles. The more you read, and use different sounds and intonations, the more they engage.
Experts say that if you use a certain sound for a character, your child will recognize it. Let’s say you are reading a story about a wolf. And you read the wolf’s lines in a thick deep voice. With time, your baby will associate your deep voice with the wolf and recognize it immediately.
5| They learn about feelings and expressing them through reading
Many experts recommend reading with all kinds of sounds, intonations, and voices. Using the right intonation for what the characters are feeling benefits babies a lot. It helps them understand feelings and emotions better. It will also help them differentiate between them. Our babies can actually associate the intonations we use with different emotions and feelings. This will help them understand emotions better as they grow up. Not only will they be able to express them, but they will be able to recognize them within others. This will teach them to understand others and sympathize with them as well.
6| Develops their visual abilities
During the first three months, newborns focus on what they see. They focus a lot on pictures, patterns, and colors. Also, they begin to learn to associate pictures with names and words. And this is where story books come in really handy.
7| Teaches them to love reading
If we turn an activity into a family fun thing, our children will grow to love it. No matter what it was. And this applies to reading. If we raise our babies to love books and to love reading, they will carry this on as they get older. They will start school loving reading and this love will grow as they do. The more we work on making reading fun for them. The more they will love it and make it a part of their lives. You can sit down with your for 15 or 30 minutes every day to read fun story books. You will make a big positive change in their lives when you do so.
How to start reading to your baby?
First, understand that reading for a newborn baby is a bit different than reading for older kids. Your newborn baby might be more interested in playing with the book, biting it, or throwing it. But this is good. Because it will help you gradually teach him or her how to handle books to read.
Second, make this quality time fun enough for the both of you. Use it to get closer and cozier with your baby. Most mums love to read to their kids before bedtime. Where they can hold their little ones tight, and read a fun and soothing story before drifting into a deep sleep.
Thirdly, it might be hard to read the book properly from cover to cover with a newborn. As we said before, they might be more interested in eating the book rather than reading it. But that is absolutely fine. After all, this is their way of gathering information and understanding the world around them.
Finally, always get story books with attractive illustrations and pictures. Make sure to point out those pictures and name them for your baby. As your baby grows, he or she will be able to point out those pictures when you name them by themselves. To make reading fun, you need picture books that are colorful, attractive, with different colors and textures. All of those will keep the book interesting for your little ones.
Read more on how to pick the perfect first books for your baby!